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Harvard team develops soft robot that stands up and walks on its own

Sharon Gaudin | Sept. 15, 2014
Harvard University scientists have built a soft robot they say can function without a communications and power tether. The four-legged robot can literally stand up and walk away from the people who built it.

Tolley noted that the work his team has been doing at Harvard is focused on creating a robot that can work autonomously and freely, while retaining that pliable and flexible design.

"It's inherently soft so it can adapt to an unstructured environment," Tolley told Computerworld. "It could squeeze through small holes like an octopus could. It doesn't quite have that capability yet but that's what we're moving towards. Robots are generally made of metal and bolts but when we've started to explore different materials that aren't so rigid."

The team's next step is to outfit the robot with sensors and enable it to walk faster.


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